Families living with elderly people can minimise the risk of accidents by carrying out DIY home improvements on the stairs.
According to Sheila Merrill from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the most serious falls for older people happen on stairs or steps.
She advised homeowners to avoid leaving items on the stairs, as they can easily become a tripping hazard.
The expert also recommended repairing or removing worn carpet to reduce the risk of trips or falls.
And if fitting a new carpet, she said avoiding patterns is a good idea, since older people with poor eyesight often can't see the difference between the tread and the riser.
"Another lost cost measure is to ensure that the landing, stairs and hallways have got good lighting," Ms Merrill added.
Her comments come after researchers at the University of Aberdeen found that elderly women with a common gene variant may be more prone to falls than those without it.
Posted by Barney Marshall